If you are the owner or occupier of a lot on a strata property, you may have considered leasing out your property while you are away. Also known as short-term letting, this includes listing your property on sites like Airbnb, Stayz and other accommodation websites. However, Australia (and NSW in particular) is currently experiencing some backlash against short-term letting, so it’s important that you are aware of the potential problems that may arise.
Issues with listing a strata property on Airbnb
Although putting your strata property up on sites like AirBnb seems like a great way to create a new income stream, there are many valid concerns around doing so.
- Current short-term stays affect housing affordability
Many have argued that short-term letting affects the ability of locals to find long-term rental accommodation.
- Increased property damage
You’ve probably read this in the news, but there have been numerous reports of “bad” Airbnb guests causing damage to accommodation, including broken items, holes in walls, stains and more.
- Lowering property values
Similarly, bad guests may affect common areas, creating an atmosphere that is unfriendly to strata occupiers, and further lower the value, security and privacy of the strata property.
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Laws around short-term letting
On 5th June 2018, the NSW state government revealed a new set of legislation aimed at regulating short-term leasing within strata properties. Under the legislation, it was proposed that:
- Strata corporations would have the ability to ban the use of Airbnb if 75% of owners agreed to pass the by-laws and the owner was not living in the rented property
- Hosts located within the Greater Sydney region would only be allowed to let their home for up to 180 days (six months) a year
- Airbnb and other short-term stay operators would be required to sign a mandatory Code of Conduct which would address issues such as disruptive guests, noise levels, and damage to the property
- NSW Department of Fair Trading would be given new powers and abilities to monitor and enforce the Code of Conduct
Although the new legislation was meant to be introduced in 2019, it has been postponed and is currently under review. However, a spokesperson for NSW Fair Trading has stated that a draft Code of Conduct will be published by the first quarter of 2020.
Currently, owners of lots may rent out their properties on sites like Airbnb if they wish, however renters will need to obtain the consent of their landlord before doing so. Landlords should also be vigilant in making sure that their rental properties are not listed on AirBnb without their knowledge, and should seek legal advice if necessary.
Do you have questions about short-term rentals and holiday-letting on your strata property? Get in touch with our team today for more information on our range of body corporate services or explore our document bank for more information.